If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you know that you need an audience of people who are potentially interested in working with you.
And when your business was brand new, getting the word out felt simpler, and you got a nice audience and some paying clients then…
But how do you grow your audience?
Grow Your Audience:
Invite the Customer on a Journey.
In last week’s episode, we talked about three reasons your marketing isn’t working and one of the reasons is the lack of a customer journey.
What does that mean?
The customer journey is the process everyone goes through as they discover your business, engage with your business, and learn more to decide if they want to work with you.
The first part of that journey, Attract, is where a lot of entrepreneurs get stuck! They don’t have a clear plan for people to discover or learn about them, and they just hope Field-of-Dreams-style that people will magically discover their business.
OR they are heavily dependent on word of mouth either from networking or referrals – which is still a great ATTRACT strategy, but requires a ton of energy from you.
So today, I wanted to break down the three primary ATTRACT strategies that will help you grow your audience online:
Attract Strategy 1: Organic Search
Making search engines part of your attract strategy means leveraging SEO so that people who are actively searching for information can find you.
People are looking for just what you have to offer every day! Google, YouTube, Pinterest, iTunes, Instagram…You can focus on any one of these search engines can help you grow your audience.
SEO is different for each platform, so choose 1 and optimize for people searching on that platform.
People will be able to find you when the topic’s on their mind and they pop in a quick search.
- Pro: Free traffic! AND an SEO strategy will build credibility over time, ranking you higher and continuing to grow your audience each time you’re clicked.
- Con: This takes time. SEO is a long-term strategy that will pay off! Just not overnight.
Attract Strategy 2: Other People’s Audiences
This is my personal favorite! This is so incredibly powerful because it builds up your authority and credibility while helping you grow your audience very, very quickly.
Other organizations, businesses, and individuals are looking for people to create content. There are so many opportunities to get in front of their audiences, and best of all, you can start this even when you’re new!
When I was first getting started in my business, way back in my consulting days, I would go out and host workshops. I’d partner with other businesses and host lunch-and-learns with them.
This is excellent in-person AND it translates online!
You can offer to write a guest blog post or web article, or speak on a podcast or web series.
Even better is when you can pitch yourself as a guest expert in your field. By getting in front of someone else’s paid audience, you’re showing your expertise and experience to people who likely 1) want or need what you have to offer, and 2) are willing and able to pay for it!
- Pro: Free marketing! Just by pitching yourself and your expertise to other leaders in your world can get you in front of qualified potential clients. AND you’ll gain credibility from whichever individual or organization you associate with!
- Con: It takes confident, consistent work with a dash of resilience. You’ll be turned down. But a “no” to sharing your knowledge and expertise usually just means “not right now.” Just keep pitching.
Attract Strategy 3: Paid Advertising
Caveat: Please do not start with paid advertising until you KNOW you can convert that traffic into sales!
Advertising does feel like an easy button; you switch it on and it sends traffic your way. BUT that does not mean the traffic will convert! Just because 100 people land on your page doesn’t mean that 100 people are going to buy.
I ALWAYS start with strategies that are free first. That way, I can make sure my marketing is working.
Think about it… If people who are coming for free aren’t signing up for your free thing (pink spoon), then people who you’re paying to be sent probably won’t either. Make sure your marketing and messaging are working to grow your audience on its own merit.
Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Google Ads, YouTube Ads, Pinterest Ads
- Pro: Speed! This is the fastest way to send people to your website and grow your audience. Direct correlation between how much you spend and how much traffic
- Con: Cost. This isn’t a barrier to entry. It’s a reminder and an opportunity for you to make sure your messaging CAN grow your audience. When your conversion numbers are good from all the free marketing work you’re doing, then you’re ready for ads.
So there you have it, friends!
If you’ve been unsure about how to grow your audience, now you have three strategies to choose from!
Choose 1 Attract strategy to focus on for 3 months: Organic search, other people’s audiences, or paid advertising.
Once you’ve implemented and committed to a strategy for 3 months, see what the results are, and then you add another!
Let’s say you decide that you’re going to focus on other people’s audiences and you’re going to focus on podcast interviews. Now you need to decide how many podcasts you want to be on and create an action plan to pitch yourself!
If you want to focus on using search and SEO to grow your audience, maybe you decide you’re going all-in on Instagram. Spend time researching hashtags, decide your posting schedule, and commit to following through for 3 months.